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When is the best time to have a baby? Advice please.

Discussion in 'Personal' started by southlondonteacher, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. I am an NQT at a secondary school and absolutely loving teaching. I have a strong desire to move up quite quickly and want to be a Head of Dept in the next 5 years and an Assistant Head not long after. I work long days and go above and beyond my role to try to get myself noticed. Members of senior management have told me they have seen potential in me so I am sure that I will reach my ambition.
    However, at the same time as my drive and ambition, recently I have been consumed by an overwhelming desire to start a family. I am only on £25k and am the main breadwinner and am not married. I live in inner-London so money is a big consideration. I'm only 25 years old so there is no biological urgency. However, having a baby is all I can think about.
    I am really confused about how I feel. Whilst I know that if I got pregnant tomorrow I would make the best of it and be absolutely fine, I also don't want to hinder my career progression, which is also very very important to me (particularly as the main breadwinner).
    What I am really asking for is some advice about when would be the OPTIMUM time to have a baby (as I have already acknowledged, i'm sure I could cope at any time but am looking for the best case scenario). Am I better to wait until I am Head of Dept and have that salary under my belt? Should I wait until I go through threshold? Should I do it sooner and then just concentrate on career progression when I get back to work? I recognise that I will not be entitled to maternity pay until I have been there at least a year.
    I am also very concerned about letting down the people who have seen potential in me - they seem to be very impressed by all the extra time and effort I put into work but I am only able to do that because I don't have any other committments. Will my "potential" go when I have family committments?
    I am the only person in mine or my partner's family that has a degree and a "career" to speak of so I think this is why I am so desperate to progress career-wise. However, can I just switch off my in-built maternal instincts? Why do I feel like a "drop-out" if I opt to have a baby in my mid-late twenties in a stable career and relationship? Is this a result of my school sex education convincing me that having children would ruin my life?!!
    Help!
     
  2. grandelf

    grandelf New commenter

    Personally I would say 9 months after conception, as it tends to be the best time.
     
  3. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Senior commenter

    12.30 on a wednesday
     
  4. There never is an ideal time and there never is a wrong time.
     
  5. joli2

    joli2 New commenter

    I'd advise you to slow down before you burn out. Give ordinary teaching a couple of years before you consider your next move, whether professional or personal.
     
  6. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    A child is for life, not just something you fancy doing at a stage in your career, unmarried....
     
  7. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    The OP contains a dozen or so sentences starting with "I" and the entire post is about you. Does your partner have any views on this which you might be tempted to consider, or are you planning an immaculate conception?
     
  8. If you are only 25, I am surprised that you are so desperate for a baby. I think you would be better off examining the reasons for this. I mean a lot of people love babies (not my cup of tea) and can see themselves having kids, but most don't get desperate, like you sounds, especially when they do not have a partner to encourage (and facilitate!) this process.
    I'm not trying to pis.s on your bonfire, but is there a deeper reason why you are so desperate for a baby?
    PS well done on your career ambitions, but try not to be too vocal about it in the general company of the staffroom. I have found that a lot of teachers (the old farts) have a natural suspicion of what they perceive to be "upstarts".
     
  9. I did wonder if a partner was actually around.
     
  10. IwantIwantIwantIwantIwantIwantIwantIwantIwantIwant.........
    You're already nudging out of the best biological time to have a baby but I suggest no time is any good to a baby if its mother can't provide it with a father or has to cram it in around her relentless reach for the stars.
     
  11. ok, yes there is a partner of 10 years so no immaculate conception planned. His view is that when it happens it happens - he obviously has no understanding of contraception and the need to stop taking contraception in order to get pregnant!
    I resent the suggestion that I am trying to cram having a baby around my "reach for the stars." I am merely trying to consider when would be the best time both financially and in terms of career progression considering that ours is a profession that works on payscales etc. I have heard that there are good and bad times to change jobs etc based on where you are on the payscale and how close you are to threshold etc so was looking for similar advice regarding maternity leave. Whilst some people "find themselves" pregnant, my contraception has not let me down so far so it is more likely to be a conscious decision to become pregnant and stop contraception so I don't think it is unfair to ask for advice about the best time.
    As for a "desperate desire" for a child as one post called it, there is no underlying sinister explanation for why I am thinking about having a child so much currently. It is just that I am in a stable job in a long term relationship and so beginning to "nest". I know many women who this happens to, either quickly after getting married or when starting a stable job etc.
    Thank you for the advice above that I should calm it down a bit and get used to teaching etc before considering any changes. That is the calibre of advice I was looking for rather than the snidey comments from other posts so many thanks!
     
  12. And you may find, as many do, that "planning" to become pregnant doesn't always work.
    Sure, it is called "family planning" but to be honest, you can't plan for it as it always turns out differently to how you plan it.
     
  13. If you're so clever and you know what you wanted to hear, why bloody well ask us?
    Silly mare.
    I'd suggest consulting your partner - always a good starting point.
     
  14. Another reason why I am concerned to leave it too late. I am already older than all the women in both my family and my partner's family when they had kids and they just don't understand why women are putting off having children to pursue a career. THey would rather I get pregnant tomorrow!
    To the women who have had children during their teaching careers - did you plan it beforehand or just decide to start trying at some point?
     
  15. giraffe

    giraffe New commenter

    If you do decide to have a baby, for goodness' sake do give it some full time parenting. Being shoved into full time childcare from a few weeks/months of age doesn't do anyone any good.
    Some dogs get more love and consideration than 21st century babies
     
  16. I'm not saying I know what I want to hear - i'm just saying I was after real advice rather than suggestions that I am trying to cram having a child into my career.
     
  17. I got married first [​IMG]
    I was 31 when my first was born. I was far too busy having fun at 25 to consider having a baby.
    I have never been much interested in career progression so that was not an issue for me. I stayed at home for my kids until the youngest was at nursery and even then only started p/t again.
    I didn't want to have kids and then not have any time for them.
     
  18. Thank you, that's good advice celticqueen. I think I would want to do the same and stay out of work until they go to nursery. Have you found it difficult to find part time work going back? Was it your old job who took you back or a different one? Primary or secondary? I don't know anyone at my school who is part-time.
     
  19. thebigonion

    thebigonion New commenter

    The best time is when you know that you're emotionally mature enough to put someone else before yourself.
    I moved sideways into being a consultant largely so I could be there in the mornings (I now take him to pre-school), and be free in the evenings to play with my son and take him to bed - not something I could do as easily if I had marking/planning/parents' evenings. I'm lucky that things have worked out, and just as he moves to full-time school, I'll be able to go back to teachings so that we get the holidays together.
    So, I would say that the best time to have a child is when you are happy to give your child 100% of yourself.
     
  20. I am back to f/t now but no longer teaching.
    P/t was no problem and I have plenty of friends in the UK who are working p/t in teaching at the moment.
    They aren't aiming to be HOD or AH, though.
     

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